Coast Guard Cutter Returns After 57-Day Arctic Ocean-Bering Sea Patrol

The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley returned to its homeport of Kodiak, Alaska on Labor Day following a 57-day patrol in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea.

The Alex Haley is a 282-foot Medium Endurance Cutter that performs search and rescue, fisheries law enforcement and vessel safety inspections across Alaska and has been homeported in Kodiak since 1999.

Nicknamed the “Bulldog of the Bering,” the vessel supported multiple strategic-level objectives for the Seventeenth Coast Guard District and the U.S. Northern Command during its 57-day mission, including providing presence along the U.S. Maritime Boundary Line and supporting U.S. Navy assets during a transit through the Bering Sea.

The cutter also navigated the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean, and crewmembers aboard the Alex Haley fulfilled several of their primary missions as a steward of Alaska’s natural resources.

For example, boarding teams conducted 14 fisheries boardings to ensure compliance with applicable federal laws and regulations, as well as support a working relationship with the Alaskan fishing fleet.

Additionally during the mission, the Alex Haley’s embarked aviation detachment from Air Station Kodiak also completed three medevacs.

In one, upon notification by watchstanders from Sector Southeast Alaska, the aircrew navigated over 120 miles near Unimak to embark a patient in distress. While en route, the aircrew was redirected to a separate medevac request from King Cove which was an additional 40 miles further.

Later, while the Alex Haley was moored in Dutch Harbor, the aircrew was dispatched again to conduct a medevac which required the patient to be hoisted from the deck of a tanker ship 50 miles south of Unalaska.

All three patients were embarked and safely transported to Cold Bay for a wing-to-wing transfer to receive care in Anchorage.

Also during the deployment, and in support of local Alaskan communities, Alex Haley crewmembers volunteered for the Unalaska City School District to assist with maintenance of district facilities in preparation for the upcoming school year.